Story of Kay, Part 3
The endo pain is getting worse. There's no denying it. I spent the better part of Saturday night tossing and turning, trying to fnd a comfortable position.
And then it just goes away. Today has been pain-free.
I can't stand not knowing when it will come back.
This wraps up the Kay story for now. She's still helping, and I can continue updating if anyone is still interested.
All of the things I know about Kay come from O. The more he talks about her, the more I want to meet her myself. Kay is interested in math and science. I want to sit down with her, question her about gravity, the nature of light, the mathematics of fractals.
And of course I want to ask her all the same questions that you want to ask.
I arrive at the bookstore Sunday afternoon with the boyos, the girlios, and lil Peewee. Mr. Clowncar comes out, we all say our goodbyes, and the Clowncar-Peewee family heads south to Pueblo.
Kay is just inside the store. I take her face in quickly – she is thin, her skin is red and looks a little chapped. But her eyes – they are brighter and bluer than any Blue-Eyed Bike Angel's. Her hair is short, brown, and yes, matted. Kay's actually very pretty; she'd probably be lovely under better circumstances. She's not much taller, or older, than I am.
In an instant I catch Kay's eye and she smiles at me. I smile back. Then my boyos run past me into the store to see their daddy. Playing in the back yard all day, their clothes are dusty; they are the ones who look fresh off the street. Kay looks at them and I see the connection she makes. I watch her face change, watch it close down. She will not look at me now, even though I try to regain eye contact. Kay's wearing her street face and I just don't stand in that middle ground where her eyes rest.
We make eye contact only once that afternoon. It is after I've loaded up a cart with the rest of Africa and pushed it out of an alcove into the open room where it can be wrapped up tight in cellophane. O calls me to come take a look at the back rooms where the hardback lit, mysteries, poetry, religion, metaphysics and science used to roost. Most of the shelves are bare. Kay has been busy back here.
Wow. This is amazing, I say, looking right at her.
She meets my eyes, acknowledges my comment with a small, tight-lipped smile (I wonder about her teeth) and then she's looking in the middle space again as she walks past me through the doorway.
I try not to form opinions about Kay's condition, let alone her thoughts, but that is nearly impossible to do. She's been friendly to everyone, even warm to O, but she has shut me out. I can't help but speculate.
Do you think, maybe, she has a crush on you? I ask O later. I hate this question, even as it comes out of my mouth.
He's taken by surprise.
I never thought of it. I don't think so. No. Do you think?
What makes you think so?
Because I would, if I were her.
And because that is how I'd look, or not look, at The Wife, I think to myself.
I'm not jealous. Don't even let that cross your mind. And not because of who Kay is, but because of who I know O is.
It could be that Kay just doesn't like women she doesn't know. I can relate.
See what I mean? In absence of knowing her thoughts and motives, I attribute my own. I start to think how easily I could become homeless, how I could wander away one black-edged day, never opening my mouth again to speak, find a used bookstore in some far city and accumulate my own pile of science and literature. I'd be clean, too.
Would I fall in love with the first kind face? Probably.
I still wish I could ask her about her life. I'm sure it won't be long before O actually does. He's very good at that. He'd make an excellent bartender. Sometimes I think being a bookseller isn't too far from that other confessional occupation.